Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister of Conservation

7 January 2014       Media Statement 

Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced at Karamea on the West Coast the permanent approval of mountain biking on the Heaphy Track from 1 May to 30 September each year.

“The Heaphy Track is New Zealand’s ultimate multi-day mountain biking experience. It traverses dramatic and diverse landscapes from mountain forests, to expansive grasslands and wild West Coast beaches,” Dr Smith says.

“The three-year trial has been a success and it is timely to make it a permanent feature of Nelson and the West Coast’s visitor attractions. Year-round mountain biking has also been approved on two other Kahurangi National Park tracks – the Flora Saddle to Barron Flat and Kill Devil tracks.”

Dr Smith first proposed the idea in a letter to the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) in 1998 when he was first the Minister of Conservation and the trial was later introduced on the Heaphy Track in 2010.

“It has been a long and painful process getting the changes to the general rules for National Parks and the necessary amendments to the park plan approved by the NZCA and the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board,” Dr Smith says.

“There has been a lot of debate about the impact of mountain bikers on the track and their interaction with trampers. The reality is that the Heaphy Track and its hut facilities had little use, with only about 500 users during these winter months. The feedback from both bikers and trampers has been that with goodwill and common sense, both can use the track. The damage to the track and the impact on species like Powelliphanta snails was found to be of little difference between bikers and trampers.

“This positive announcement will be particularly welcomed in Karamea and Collingwood. These small centres have benefitted from approximately 2000 people who have biked the track each winter period over the past three years when fewer visitors have been around.
“There has been significant uncertainty since the trial ended in September, and this decision enables the Nelson and West Coast’s visitor industries to plan and market their facilities and services knowing that winter mountain biking is now here to stay.

“Consideration is also being given to extending the mountain biking season from five months from1 May to 30 September, to eight months from 1 March to 30 November, excluding the Easter period. The proposal, put forward by DOC, will be considered at the time of the next Kahurangi National Park Management Plan review in 2014/15.

“This extension is estimated to increase the number of bikers on the track to 4000 per year, and the annual economic benefits to Golden Bay and Karamea from $2.3 million to $3.4 million. I am confident that if we invest in good facilities and track improvements the infrastructure can cope with these increased numbers.

“DOC has also invested in a new hut at Heaphy and four new major suspension bridges on the track. Further track upgrades in the Mackay Hut area are planned for next year. We have also come to an arrangement with the Tasman District Council where DOC will construct three new bridges at a cost of $630,000 on the final five kilometres of metal access road to the Golden Bay end of the Heaphy Track to improve all-weather access.

“I urge bikers not to attempt to ride the track in one day or to underestimate the terrain, and on advice from mountain biking experts, the grading has been raised from intermediate to advanced.

“This confirmation of the Heaphy as a long-term mountain biking winter track is exciting for both the Nelson and West Coast regions. It is these sorts of unique experiences that help define the lifestyle and adventure that makes this part of New Zealand such a great place to live and visit.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news